Patches made from human placenta could prevent men becoming impotent following prostate cancer surgery.

The patches are wrapped around key nerves before the cancer is removed to prevent incontinence and erectile dysfunction, which can occur in up to seven in ten men undergoing the surgery.

Pilot studies suggest that growth hormones and other repair cells in the tissue, donated by mothers having Caesarean deliveries, protect the nerves and aid recovery after surgery.

Patches made from human placenta could prevent men becoming impotent following prostate cancer surgery (file image)

Patches made from human placenta could prevent men becoming impotent following prostate cancer surgery (file image) 

Around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. The most common treatment is a radical prostatectomy, which involves surgically removing the prostate gland, which sits between the bladder and the penis.

While the surgery has a good success rate — up to 80 per cent of men who undergo it are alive ten years later — as many as 20 per cent of men experience incontinence afterwards, while up to 70 per cent have erection difficulties.

The challenge for surgeons is that the area around the prostate is a forest of nerves — including the cavernous nerves, which help trigger erections, and others involved in bladder control. Problems occur if these become damaged during the operation or by scarring and inflammation.

Eat more

Mussels, as having them regularly yields significant benefits, such as a reduced risk of cardiac arrest and lower risk of chronic diseases. 

Mussels, as having them regularly yields significant benefits

Mussels, as having them regularly yields significant benefits

This is thanks to their high omega-3 content, thought to protect the heart and blood vessels and help maintain brain health.

Surgeons hope to protect the nerves by wrapping them in human amniotic membrane or amnion, a thick membrane that forms the innermost placenta layer.

Amnion is tough and flexible and contains a cocktail of compounds, including growth factors (proteins that stimulate the growth of cells), immune system cells and mesenchymal amniotic cells — the latter are stem cells, or master cells, that can form other kinds of tissue.

Animal studies have also shown that it has nerve-protecting effects. One, reported in the Journal of Immunology Research, showed that amnion cells could stop inflammation — a cause of scarring — and trigger the recovery of damaged nerves in mice with multiple sclerosis.

READ  Scans reveal how pollution may alter anxious children's brain chemicals

In the new trial at the Lukas Hospital in Neuss, Germany, 30 men undergoing surgery for localised prostate cancer will first have amnion patches — which have been sterilised and dried — wrapped around those key nerves. Once in place, the sheets become moist and stick to the tissue without the need for stitches.

Results from a previous small trial show that it can be highly effective. At first follow-up after six weeks, 41 per cent of men who had the patch were able to sustain an erection compared to 5 per cent in men who did not have the patch, according to the results reported at the World Congress of Endourology in Taiwan.

Professor Raj Persad, a consultant urologist at Bristol Urology Associates, said: ‘Use of amniotic membrane will need to be subjected to larger-scale trials before wide acceptance will be possible.

‘It is possible however — as sounds to be the case — that the anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effects may lead to better functional outcomes, together with the “rejuvenating” stem cell effect for delicate nerve and blood vessel tissues.’

A form of the mineral selenium, which is found in eggs, is effective against prostate cancer cells, according to laboratory studies. Research has shown a link between high levels of selenium and a lower cancer risk. Now researchers from the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Food Nutrition and Human Health have shown that selenium triggers death in prostate cancer cells that were resistant to other treatments. Writing in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they say theirs is the first study to make this finding.

Patches made from human placenta could prevent men becoming impotent following prostate cancer surgery.

The patches are wrapped around key nerves before the cancer is removed to prevent incontinence and erectile dysfunction, which can occur in up to seven in ten men undergoing the surgery.

Pilot studies suggest that growth hormones and other repair cells in the tissue, donated by mothers having Caesarean deliveries, protect the nerves and aid recovery after surgery.

READ  Cancer risk with diabetes is higher for women than men

Around 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. The most common treatment is a radical prostatectomy, which involves surgically removing the prostate gland, which sits between the bladder and the penis.

While the surgery has a good success rate — up to 80 per cent of men who undergo it are alive ten years later — as many as 20 per cent of men experience incontinence afterwards, while up to 70 per cent have erection difficulties.

The kitchen cupboard ‘cures’ that really do work. This week: Tea bags for styes

A stye is a painful lump on the eyelid that often develops into a pus-filled spot.

‘The idea of using a warm tea bag on the stye is that it acts as a compress, and the warmth will help to draw out the pus,’ says Dr Anthony Bewley, a consultant dermatologist at Barts Health NHS Trust, London. 

A warm tea bag on the stye acts as a compress

A warm tea bag on the stye acts as a compress

The tannin in the tea bag is also thought to help reduce the size of the stye.

Steep a regular tea bag in just-boiled water and remove. Leave until cool enough to handle, and place over the affected area until the heat has gone. Repeat as needed.

The challenge for surgeons is that the area around the prostate is a forest of nerves — including the cavernous nerves, which help trigger erections, and others involved in bladder control. Problems occur if these become damaged during the operation or by scarring and inflammation.

Surgeons hope to protect the nerves by wrapping them in human amniotic membrane or amnion, a thick membrane that forms the innermost placenta layer.

Amnion is tough and flexible and contains a cocktail of compounds, including growth factors (proteins that stimulate the growth of cells), immune system cells and mesenchymal amniotic cells — the latter are stem cells, or master cells, that can form other kinds of tissue.

Animal studies have also shown that it has nerve-protecting effects. One, reported in the Journal of Immunology Research, showed that amnion cells could stop inflammation — a cause of scarring — and trigger the recovery of damaged nerves in mice with multiple sclerosis.

READ  Arthritis: Best Christmas treat to relieve joint pain

In the new trial at the Lukas Hospital in Neuss, Germany, 30 men undergoing surgery for localised prostate cancer will first have amnion patches — which have been sterilised and dried — wrapped around those key nerves. Once in place, the sheets become moist and stick to the tissue without the need for stitches.

Results from a previous small trial show that it can be highly effective. At first follow-up after six weeks, 41 per cent of men who had the patch were able to sustain an erection compared to 5 per cent in men who did not have the patch, according to the results reported at the World Congress of Endourology in Taiwan.

Professor Raj Persad, a consultant urologist at Bristol Urology Associates, said: ‘Use of amniotic membrane will need to be subjected to larger-scale trials before wide acceptance will be possible.

‘It is possible however — as sounds to be the case — that the anti-inflammatory and anti-scarring effects may lead to better functional outcomes, together with the “rejuvenating” stem cell effect for delicate nerve and blood vessel tissues.’    

How parenthood affects your health. This week: Foot size

Motherhood can do strange things to women’s bodies — including lasting changes to the size and shape of their feet.

A study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation in 2013 compared the foot arch measurements of 49 women in the first trimester of pregnancy, and again 19 weeks after birth.

Researchers found pregnant women lose foot-arch height and rigidity, increasing foot length and the risk of dropped arches, which remain after giving birth.

Motherhood can do strange things to women’s bodies — including lasting changes to the size and shape of their feet (file image)

Motherhood can do strange things to women’s bodies — including lasting changes to the size and shape of their feet (file image)

It is thought that increased weight on joints, which are looser during pregnancy because of hormone changes, leads to permanent changes in the feet.

‘Pregnancy seems to be associated with a permanent loss of arch height, and the first pregnancy may be the most significant,’ said the researchers.

‘These changes in the feet could contribute to the increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders in women.’



READ SOURCE

WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here